Abel, Fred

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Abel, Fred Gender: M
John Frederick Abel
born on 25 May 1909 at 20:00 (= 8:00 PM )
Place East Dereham, England, 52n41, 0e56
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 03°56' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 20°19 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 05°06'


British one-man travelling circus, the last of his type in England, he was known as "the donkey man." He travelled England in a caravan for more than twenty-five years presenting shows with his flea circus, several donkeys, dancing dogs and tame rats and mice. He was featured in magazine, newspaper and television stories, and more recently on YouTube [1].

In 1976 thieves raided Fred Abel's caravan and stole his life savings. A public appeal raised more than the amount stolen and he then lived in a renovated chicken house on a farm.

He had a heart attack in 1979 and died at the Horton General Hospital in January 1982 at the age of 72.


  • Health : Acute illness 1979 (Heart attack)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from "One man and his private circus: Life on the open road described by an impresario who continues full of ideas" by Edward Wymark, The Field (London), Vol. 232, Iss. 6036 (26 Sep 1968), p. 579: "Fred Abel was born at eight o'clock in the evening, a fact which he holds to be of great importance in the matter of fortune telling..."; and from "Fred Abel (the Donkey Man)" by Rob Forsyth, Deddington History [2]: "research by Tom Weigand and Alan Griffin has elicited the following additional information from the National Records Office. John Frederick Abel was born 25 May 1909 in Mitford Norfolk."

According to Wikipedia, "Mitford and Launditch Rural District was a rural district in Norfolk, England from 1894 to 1974. It completely encircled [today's] East Dereham Urban District" [3].

The England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index has "Name: Frederick John Abel, Birth: 25 May 1909, Death: Jan 1982 Banbury, Oxfordshire, England."


  • Traits : Personality : Eccentric
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Heart disease/attack
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work
  • Lifestyle : Home : Other Home (Lived and travelled in caravan)
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Financial crime victim (Robbed)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Circus/ Animal acts (One-man travelling circus)
  • Vocation : Misc. : Farmer/ Rancher
  • Notable : Famous : Newsmaker